Journal Grants Gonzales A Superlative

By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 13, 2007

The tide of bad news and controversy that forced Alberto R. Gonzales from office earlier this year has earned him a dubious honor: The former attorney general has been named Lawyer of the Year by a legal affairs magazine.

The January 2008 issue of the ABA Journal, a publication of the American Bar Association, bestowed the title on Gonzales as the most notable newsmaker in the legal world in 2007 .

In addition to citing the "slow-motion destruction" of Gonzales, the publication predicted that his successor, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey," will be Lawyer of the Year in 2008 as he works to rebuild the Justice Department's reputation.

Edward A. Adams, the Journal's editor and publisher, said that the award is not intended as a commentary on Gonzales's effectiveness as attorney general.

"It's about who has had the most effect in the world of lawyers this year," Adams said. "We're not saying Gonzales is good or bad. We're just saying this is the leading newsmaker in our part of the world."

Adams also stressed that the decision to highlight Gonzales and Mukasey was made by the magazine's journalists, not the ABA, which has clashed with the Bush administration on a variety of issues, including sentencing guidelines and detention policies.

Gonzales, a longtime aide and confidant of President Bush, resigned after an uproar over the Justice Department's firing of nine federal prosecutors. The Justice Department is investigating allegations of perjury and witness tampering against him.

The Justice Department had no comment on the ABA Journal's award yesterday.

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